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Help with admission please! How do you pick the right school?

(5 Posts)
JustmeBee Thu 15-Nov-12 20:49:40

I hope someone can help with shedding some light on the whole school admission process and I will be greatful for any advise.

We live in a area where all the schools are oversubscribe even so that most schools are doing building work to extend.

The only 2 schools I think that we have a chance of getting into is our catchment school (that we live next to) and the CoE school that has links with our church.

We were really disappointed in the next door school. It has a satisfactory ofsted report and didnt get a good feeling looking around it today.

The CoE school is outstanding but very very oversubscribe. We also felt very disappointed looking around. It was deputy heads 4th tour of the day and it was a very large group and maybe because the school is so oversubscribe the deputy didnt really care to "sell" it.

There is also school C and D that is very close to us and that I love! I think it will suit daughter very well.

Confused to what to put down as the 3 prefrences?

Do i put school C and D as my first 2 choices and CoE as third and hope for the best? Will my daughters chances of getting in the CoE school be less as it is only a third choice. They also advise that you put your catchment school as 1 of the choices. Do you think this is still in important because daughter should get into CoE school.

Thanks for reading.

housesalehelp Thu 15-Nov-12 20:55:22

sure the admission experts will be along but as I understand it its important to put down a school your child is likely to get into - if you think they will get into the CofE school then that will be fine - I would say I would check the criteria very carefully

admission Thu 15-Nov-12 21:25:35

The assumption is that the admission criteria for the local catchment school does give priority for being in area. In that situation it is always best to put that down as your banker and to put it as the third preference. With the equal preference scheme that is run in all english LAs, that should be the best bet for a school place.
The CoE school sounds like a school that is cruising and because they have such a wide intake they look as though they are doing well. However when Ofsted come visiting they could get a shock. There are quite a few so called good schools where attainment is good, but actually when considering the level of improvement from KS1 to KS2 or foundation to KS2, their progress is not anything to write home about. Some of these schools are going into special measures or notice to improve. So I would check exactly when the last Ofsted inspection was. If it was recent, in the last year, that is OK, if it more than a year, then the school may be resting on its past achievements.
If you did not get the right vibes when going around the school, then maybe this is not the school for you and you should put down schools C and D down as first and second preferences, with the local catchment school as the banker as third preference.

JustmeBee Thu 15-Nov-12 22:48:32

Thank you for your replies. We are going back to the CoE school tomorrow and maybe we will get a diffrent feel.

It is all most a certainty that we will be offered a place at the CoE school because we will be applying under the 3rd priority ( after looked after children and exceptional grounds) and therefore before the children in the catchment area.

We have been going to this church for a very long time, long before having kids. Therefore i know the church will support our application.

Can this therefore be the "banker" as still prefer this school over catchment school?

The chance for getting into school c and D is minimal as last year not all the children living in the catchment area got into the school. Do you have more chance to get into a school if it is your first choice?

Thank you for your help

admission Fri 16-Nov-12 21:09:21

All schools that you put down as a preference are considered equal for the first part of the process of allocation of places. Only if you can be offered a place at more than one school will the order that you put them in have any relevance.
Re the CofE school I would be very wary of saying it is a banker.Yes you might well be in category 3 as a regular attender at church but it would not be beyond the realms of possibility that there will be more in cat3 than places and then it will come down to those in catchment and then those on distance. So there is no certainty, especially if the school is outstanding and is attracting parents to the school for all the wrong reasons. Not wishing to be negative about the vicar but frequently they will sign the form when put in front of them even if the parents have only been to the church service once, especially if you have some very pushy parents.

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